In Haiti, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office urged to increase the funding, otherwise, severely malnourished under-fives could more than double this year.
Jean Gough, UNICEF regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that the pandemic made life ok Haiti kids much harder. Rising violence, a lack of access to food and clean water, hurricanes have deteriorated the situation on the Caribbean island. Moreover, some children could die if they do not receive timely treatment, Gough said.
Over a year, the disruption of the health system along with a sharp decline in child inoculations linked to parental concerns. This has left fewer than one in 10 children in Haiti completely unvaccinated and nearly six in 10 insufficiently protected.
Four in 10 Haitian kids live mostly in impoverished urban settings, which are characterized by lack of access to essential services and violence. But the most alarming thing is one in four Haitians is starving.
“Severe acute malnutrition can and should be treated right now to save children’s lives in Haiti,” said Jean Gough.
The official added that without additional, urgent funding in the next few weeks, the life-saving treatment UNICEF is providing against malnutrition will be discontinued and some children will be at risk of dying.
UNICEF supports Haiti during pandemic
In 2020, UN Children Fund in partnership with the local government, treated 33,372 acutely malnourished children across an island by providing nutrition supplies and medicines. In June this year, the agency expects to run out of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food for the treatment of acute malnutrition owing to insufficient funding.
The agency has requested $3 million to purchase essential supplies and medicine and carry out preventive and treatment programs, warning that without these funds, thousands of Haitian children will no longer receive life-saving assistance.